World Facts

The World's Largest Exporters of Peat

Canada leads the world in peat exporting.

We usually describe peat as a buildup of organic matter undergoing decay, which is unique to natural ecosystems such as peat land and bogs. These bogs are the primary sources of peat although at times the peat comes from peat swamp forests and fens though in very little amounts. Peat is an important nonrenewable source of energy that most countries produce. Over the years, more uses of peat are emerging as we use it traditionally in cooking and heating. In some other countries, people use peat in water infiltration. The ecological conditions for peat wetlands are suitable for providing habitat to plants and animals whose habitats are wetlands.

Top Peat Exporting Countries


Canada is the leading producer of peat in the world and its exportation is the highest in the world. Most of the peat they produce is for horticultural purposes. The industry produces an estimate of 1.3 million metric tons of peat annually. The horticultural peat industry over the years is funding major peat researches, government’s institutions, and academic institution. Canada began its exportation of peat in the early 1930's to the United States although in very minimal amounts. The European industry was the largest producer of peat by then but the Second World War greatly brought an impact on them. This turn of events gave Canada a platform to produce more and export to other nations and they took the lead since then.


Most of the peat the country produces comes from the lower part of the country in lower Saxony. Germany comes second in rank after Canada in production and exportation because most of its fens have been draining over the years leaving the land to agricultural activities. The use of peat as a source of energy is currently in use, but in limited amounts most of it going to horticultural activities in Germany.


The country comes in third after Germany and Canada and produces approximately 473 million tons of peat annually. Research indicates that most of the peat production comes from the eastern plains and in Riga. Consumption of peat has been declining in the country since 1990 peak consumption being experienced in 1973. Most of the peat currently is being used for household purposes.


Production of peat in Netherlands comes from way back in the 13th century but industrial manufacture of large amounts began in the 19th century. Majority of the peat has been put under agricultural activities. Extraction and production of peat ended in the year 1992 due to a number of reasons, majorly exploitation by the Dutch for over 20 centuries.


Production of peat in Ireland began in the 17th century. It was only in the 19th and 20th centuries that commercial production of peat began. Peat lands in Ireland are traditionally a source of poverty. In more recent years, the residents of Ireland have come to embrace peat production and its uses are diversifying.

Increasing Global Peat Production

Peat production in the world is increasing over the years and more people are embracing it. Research indicates that in the future more countries will start producing peat.

The World's Largest Exporters of Peat

RankCountryExport Value (Millions)
4The Netherlands142

More in World Facts